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Old 12-04-2012, 09:17 PM   #1
DerStoff
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Default Just underprimed bottles, can I re-prime?

Just put my first brew in bottles 3 days ago, since then minding my business, going about my life waiting the good wait when it donned on me...SCHEISSE...let me explain.

When I was transferring my brew from fermenter to bottling bucket on top of my primed sugar solution, I had left the spigot of my bottling bucket open!!! Before I realised it, I can best estimate that I lost about 1.5 litres (about 3 pints) of beer. At the time I was upset about wasted beer, but oh well another 35 or so pints of the stuff left so I'm not gonna let that worry me too much...until today 3 days later I realise the true implications.

I lost 1.5 litres of beer most concentrated with priming sugar solution in other words, I could have lost most of/all of my priming sugar.

I'm not a hydrodynamic nor chemical engineer so I cant think of any easy way to estimate the amount lost (I can only suspect most).

Here's my question, is it possible to open all my bottles, poor them back into a bottling bucket, reprime and bottle as normal?

In order to risk overcarbing, I could take a gravity reading to estimate how much fermentable sugars did manage to make it in.

For the record, its a Kit extract w/ partial boil and steeping grains. Meant to be a blonde slightly hoppy ale. I was going for just shy of 2.0 carb units. I'm actually quite happy lower than that (I like low carb real ale styles even if quite blonde) but I wanted a bit more carb for maximum GF/family enjoyment.

Can I reprime in the way I described?

Should I reprime (I don't want to have to wait 3 weeks to find out I have to reprime all over again)?

Any help would be massively appreciated cheers!

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:07 PM   #2
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The mistake was a blessing in disguise. If you had landed all of your priming sugar in a couple of bottles, they would have almost certainly exploded.

Your best bet is likely to pour back into your bottling bucket, let it sit for a couple of days to consume the rest of the sugar, and then start the process over again. (Only this time, make sure your priming solution is properly mixed.)

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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I've had mixed results trying to fix under carbed beer. My best result was to do about what you're thinking.

I had a stout, a beer that is forgiving of mistakes, or at least good at covering them up, that didn't carb at all after about a week. No fizz. None. I opened all the bottles and carefully and slowly poured them into an empty primary. Added I forget how much Turbinado brown sugar, maybe a cup, and a rehydrated pack of Safale US-05 yeast.

I let this sit about two weeks, transferred back into a bottling bucket, primed and bottled as usual. It wasn't the best ever, but if was still plenty fine.

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:36 PM   #4
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I've had mixed results trying to fix under carbed beer. My best result was to do about what you're thinking.

I had a stout, a beer that is forgiving of mistakes, or at least good at covering them up, that didn't carb at all after about a week. No fizz. None. I opened all the bottles and carefully and slowly poured them into an empty primary. Added I forget how much Turbinado brown sugar, maybe a cup, and a rehydrated pack of Safale US-05 yeast.

I let this sit about two weeks, transferred back into a bottling bucket, primed and bottled as usual. It wasn't the best ever, but if was still plenty fine.
Out of curiosity, why did you add more yeast and wait 2 weeks for fermentation? Why not let the priming sugar ferment completely on it's own, then re-prime and bottle. Just seems like a quicker solution...

Thanks.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:51 PM   #5
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Don't put the beer back in your bucket, you'll run the risk of oxidyzing the beer that way. If you think the beer is going to be undercarbed, let them sit for a couple weeks to ferment the sugar that is already in there. Then uncap them, let the co2 dissipate for a few minutes, get some priming tablets and add them. Then mix up a little yeast in some water and get a children's medicine dropper and add a few ml of yeast to each bottle, and then re-cap and let them carb and condition as normal.

There's no way to move the beer from the bottles to a bucket to re-prime them without pouring through the air.....oxygen + beer = Liquid Cardboard.

If you're going to attempt to recarb a beer. Then do it IN THE BOTTLE, where there's still a presence of co2 to protect them.

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:51 PM   #6
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Figured I'd guarantee myself a good F/M, food to microorganism ratio. If it didn't carb, maybe I was short on one, the other or both. So, I put in food, the sugar, and microorganisms, the yeast. It worked.

I'd love to tell you what my gravities were, but I lost the file from that brew.

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:55 PM   #7
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I'm going to have to disagree strongly with Revvy. If you think there's a chance that you didn't mix your priming sugar well, as you indicate, do not leave the beer capped in bottles. Doing so is of the few things in brewing that can actually hurt you.

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:57 PM   #8
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I'm going to have to disagree strongly with Revvy. If you think there's a chance that you didn't mix your priming sugar well, as you indicate, do not leave the beer capped in bottles. Doing so is of the few things in brewing that can actually hurt you.
Then he can uncap them now and let them sit....pouring them back into a bucket a cure worse than the original condition.

I would just isolate the bottles, and if the few with the excess co2 blow, have them blow safely, that's still of a risk than ruining the entire run of beer from o2 exposure.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Don't put the beer back in your bucket, you'll run the risk of oxidyzing the beer that way. If you think the beer is going to be undercarbed, let them sit for a couple weeks to ferment the sugar that is already in there. Then uncap them, let the co2 dissipate for a few minutes, get some priming tablets and add them. Then mix up a little yeast in some water and get a children's medicine dropper and add a few ml of yeast to each bottle, and then re-cap and let them carb and condition as normal.

There's no way to move the beer from the bottles to a bucket to re-prime them without pouring through the air.....oxygen + beer = Liquid Cardboard.

If you're going to attempt to recarb a beer. Then do it IN THE BOTTLE, where there's still a presence of co2 to protect them.
This is less risky than what I did. And here's where I should reemphasize, careful and slow pouring.

And should probably say the "mixed results" was the second time I tried something similar, but in a party pig. The second time, it seemed like it was working, but in the end, well, I made some great compost starter. But that was trying to naturally carb up a party pig for reuse. There were other issues too. That pig has retained the flavor of other experiments.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:02 AM   #10
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I'm going to have to disagree strongly with Revvy. If you think there's a chance that you didn't mix your priming sugar well, as you indicate, do not leave the beer capped in bottles. Doing so is of the few things in brewing that can actually hurt you.
From what was said the spigot was open so most of the concentrated sugar solution was lost to spillage. The rest should have mixed well enough.

I would do as Revvy suggested.
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